Tangled - Blu-ray Review

'parents are warned that annoying pop ditties might be sung around houses for weeks afterwards'

Disney's fiftieth animated feature, Tangled on Blu-ray shows once again that the Mouse House is amongst the best studios for high definition productions. Like all of their releases to date the transfer of Tangled is sumptuous, the sound divine, the picture the very definition of clarity.

If only the rest of the film was up to snuff. Tangled is, unfortunately, a rather mixed bag of all the good and bad elements that make Disney films, Disney films. There's humour by the bucketload but the moments of laughter are often punctuated by a soundtrack which feels like it was either included to accommodate star Mandy Moore or by Disney executive request based on the fact that they couldn't have a fiftieth feature which didn't include songs of some sort. As such, the sort of songs we get here are the sort of uninspired drivel where characters sing about what they're doing and not much else. Perhaps worse than that, the pop-aesthetic never quite fits with ye olde feel of the narrative and the lyrics never get out of first gear. Of course, if you're a four-year-old you'll lap it up and parents are warned that annoying pop ditties might be sung around houses for weeks afterwards.

The motivation for Moore's Rapunzel might inhabit the same twee universe as her character's songs but come the ending you will believe that flying lanterns are worth travelling across the world for. Depending on your level of cynicism, you might be able to spot that the final scenes are arguably manipulated by directing pair Nathan Greno and Byron Howard to give the film a '3D event' tag. Regardless of this being true or not though, the lavishing of the CG budget on the final scenes is both crucial to the understanding of the character and visually outstanding in equal measure. It ranks up there as one of the most beautiful Disney moments of all time, as does the shock value of the method of dispatch involved in villain Mother Gothel's (Donna Murphy) eventual demise.

Despite the rough edges and non-developed musical elements, Tangled has the requisite level of charm to make it an enjoyable experience, if not amongst Disney's best. The studio famous for talking animals has a pair of non-talking beauties here in Pascal (chameleon) and Maximus (horse) who provide much of the comic-relief, whilst leaving the emotional heart wisely to central pair Moore and Zachary Levi. The ending packs real Disney heavyweight punch and by the final scenes there will be a few people needing to disguise teary eyes, the film's delights eventually outweighing its more syrupy moments.

Look further...

'Directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard created for us a magical world where everything begins with the words "Guys, I wanna castle!" and finishes with "- And we were living happily ever after"' - Cinema Life


  1. You hard man!! I loved this and saw it twice! Good critique of the movie. I like Disney and think they still put out a good product. They have mamged to keep the style the same and yet moved with the times. I've never liked animated musicals as such but Disney does it best.

  2. I think sometimes animated films get given a pass in the press because, well they're animated and aim to be charming, cute, easy watches. This isn't a bad film but it's nowhere near as good as THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, TOY STORY 3 or CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS. Agree on 'animated musicals'. I generally feel the same yet ALADDIN is probably one of my all time favourites.

  3. I always have difficulty reviewing movies that are overtly children to pre-teen aimed. I thought this movie was fun, especially in the theater setting, but - like you - I couldn't help but feel something was missing. Good film, not an all time Disney great (which I've seen many label it).

  4. Animated films are pretty much guaranteed to be cute, well drawn, charming and funny; all things which I'm sure most people can agree are notionally 'good' concepts. But because they are staple features of the genre, I think the films need to be held to higher account than these ideas. It's not good enough that your animated film is 'cute', 'well drawn', 'charming' and 'funny' - it should be that by very definition - what else can you offer us? And by 'us' I don't mean adults. It's possible to create a genuinely brilliant animation without necessarily playing up to the parents. See all of the above films for good examples of this.